‘Our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our nation’ ~ Nelson Mandela
A couple of days ago Jess MacLarty and I made the lengthly trip into town with the intention of purchasing the items on a hand written list that had been given to Jess. The list had the following written on it:
- Tindluwa (beans) for Tihove
- Timanga (peanuts)
- Pumkin leaves for Morogo
- Locally sources tomatoes and onions
- Mqomboti (corn meal)
The ladies in the Londolozi Village were thrilled to see that we’d managed to get most of what was listed and the rest they’d get from their own vegetable gardens in order to feed 200 members of the Londolozi Family on the 24th of September, our much loved Heritage Day. This day is a celebration of the diversity of cultures we have in our country and there’s no doubt that there was a build up of anticipation leading up to this eventful day. This year Londolozi held a fashion show where people were encouraged to dress to their heritage, express their culture and feel truly themselves in attire that represented them.
Like most things in Africa, the morning began with food prep; spinach stalks peeled, a corn dish known as pap was frequently stirred, the fires lit and pots began to steam with Johnny Clegg’s music keeping spirits high in the background. The Londolozi Village was buzzing with activity and excitement as ladies bonded over their traditional dishes, singing Shangaan songs in unison with the occasional interruption of roaring of laughter. Bold and colourful fabrics were hang from beams in our Spaza Shop next to our previously hung up Sprinkbok flag, flying high in support of our rugby team during the Rugby World Cup; a beautiful combination of our sport and Shangaan culture.
One-by-one the Londolozi Family came together from different areas of the lodge, bringing with them items to walk down the runway. Each individual transformed themselves through radiant materials, textures and items handed down from generation-to-generation. From beaded headpieces and shweshwe fabrics to animal skins and skirts made from leaves, we were treated to an array of colours, cultures and expressions. What an incredible hour it was having the Londolozi Family in one place, brought together from all walks of life and all corners of South Africa, connected by our love for this country, its heritage and respect and care for one another. As Bron Varty-Laburn says “We are all our very own trees, standing tall and unique, but connected by our deep roots which entangle around each other supporting and keeping individuals connected.”
Some more footage from this festive day filmed by Matt Uys: